Food News

Online Specialty Food Delivery Service, Artizone, To Set Up Shop in Downtown on Thursday Evenings

Downtown Dallas doesn't offer much it terms of grocery stores. Urbanmarket closed earlier this year because it couldn't find is place in the fickle grocery-shopping patterns of downtown residents. Other than that, CVS and 7-Eleven are the choices. It's like a grocery store desert -- with lots of tall buildings and stoplights.

Starting this week the online specialty-food home delivery company, Artizone, is offering a new option for downtown residents. This Thursday, they're setting-up shop from 4:30 to 7 p.m. at 555 Ross Ave. (behind the Spaghetti Warehouse where Munger dead ends at Record) for customers to pick up orders.

Artizone has an interesting skill set. They're not like a CSA or vegetable delivery service (like Greenling); although they do provide vegetables, it's not their specialty.

Instead, Artizone works with local specialty food vendors (bakers, cheese artisans, etc.) to offer a variety of goods. For instance, on the Artizone website you could toss into your cart: Greek yogurt from Three Happy Cows, milk from County Line Farms, coffee from Noble Coyote, pasta from Holy Ravioli, a wedge of Barely Buzzed cheese from Scardello, a baguette from Empire Baking Co. Oh. And some Crack-in-a-Box from Dude, Sweet Chocolate. And some grapes for good measure, like a bottle of 2009 Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc.

The Artizone site has a list of all their "shops," which includes 44 different vendors. Buying through them does help a lot of local vendors. They also pull from a stock of regular grocery store items to fill in the gaps. Normally all of this is delivered via an Artizone van to your doorstep.

Now, however, customers also have the option to schedule a pickup in downtown every Thursday between 4:30 and 7 p.m., where the goods will be delivered directly to your car, concierge-style.

Artizone is kicking off with a "chill-out" party this Thursday evening from 5 to 7 p.m. at the new pickup location. There will be free drinks and food from Kaurina's Kulfi, La Duni, Scardello, Noble Coyote Coffee Roasters and a few more vendors. The Davis Burris jazz band will be providing the musical ambiance.

To be clear, you can't shop here; you can only pick-up your online order.

I'm interested to see how this goes. I'm rooting for them (Artizone and the grocery-store deprived people of downtown).

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Lauren Drewes Daniels is the Dallas Observer's food editor. She started writing about local restaurants, chefs, beer and kouign-amanns in 2011. She's driven through two dirt devils and is certain they were both some type of cosmic force.